Real Estate Myths in Spain
About swimming pools that have not been registered, constructions that are not mentioned in the property deed, fines that you must pay, constructions that need to be demolished, the land where you cannot build, outstanding water or electricity bills that you are obliged to pay ...
The first rule: find a good and reliable real estate agent. Not only will they listen to your wishes and find the perfect property for you, but they will advise you to appoint a lawyer when buying a property in Spain and they will help you through the whole process.
Problems occur when a good and experienced lawyer is not appointed to investigate all the documents when buying a property. Unlike most other countries, the notary in Spain does not have a duty of investigation; he only documents what is declared in front of him. That is why you should always appoint a lawyer to investigate whether all legal requirements are met, who will act on your behalf and can be held responsible.
Your lawyer will check whether all existing buildings and structures (e.g. swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, terrace, garage, basement, ...), the square meters of the plot, the built square meters, etc. actually occur in the existing deed, that everything has been registered in the Land Registry and according to the Cadastre. It will also investigate if there are any restrictions or municipal or urban changes or plans for future zoning. Payments of all taxes will be verified and the same applies for services such as water, electricity, garbage collection and communal expenses.
Please note that most irregularities that occur can be rectified at the time of sale and at that time your attorney can ensure that all related costs and outstanding bills are paid by the current owner or even withheld from the sale price and paid directly to the appropriate agencies.
On the rare occasions when an irregularity is so serious and no solution can be found, your lawyer will advise you not to proceed with the purchase.
In addition to all these services, your lawyer will indicate which documents you need to provide from your country, help you with the documents you need to obtain in Spain and ensure that the reservation contract, the sales contract and the title deed you will sign, are correct and in accordance with Spanish law. He can transfer water, electricity, rubbish collection, taxes etc. into your name and help you with a bank account in Spain.
In short, a good estate agent and a lawyer will work together to ensure that buying a property in Spain will be an enjoyable experience and cannot become a nightmare.